Wilderness in your backyard

A deer wanders through Missoula's South Hills. Deer are plentiful in the Missoula area, as are Mountain Lions and Black Bears.

Photo by Nelson Kenter - kenterphotography.com

Living with Wildlife

Residing in Western Montana means learning to live with wildlife. In Missoula, that often includes sharing your yard with birds, raccoons, skunks, deer, black bears, and even mountain lions.

The Montana Department of Fish, Wildlife, and Parks has more information on how to live in harmony with wildlife in Western Montana. To learn about wildlife proofing your home or business, contact James Jonkel at (406) 542-5508.

Black Bears

Black bears are often found rummaging through back yards and garbage bins in the Rattlesnake and Grant Creek areas of Missoula, particularly just before and after hibernation. By reducing the opportunities for bears to find food and forage, we reduce the potential conflicts between bears and humans.


The Missoula Valley is home to a significant number of white-tailed and mule deer. It is illegal to feed deer, and it is the homeowner’s responsibility to keep garbage, birdseed, pet food, and other attractants contained.

A number of local nurseries can provide information on deer-resistant plants and how to use fencing or netting, repellents, and frightening methods. Learn more about how to happily co-exist with deer in Missoula on the Fish, Wildlife, and Parks website.

Mountain Lions

Where there are deer, there are mountain lions, which can be a major threat to pets and children. By reducing attractants to deer, you reduce the possibility of mountain lions. Get more tips on how to avoid attracting mountain lions around your home.